The Paul McCartney Project

Till There Was You

Written by Meredith Willson

Album This song officially appears on the With the Beatles (Mono) Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1963
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Other 1963 songs part of the 2005 US Tour setlist

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Till There Was You” is a song written by Meredith Willson for his 1957 musical play The Music Man, and which also appeared in the 1962 movie version. The song is sung by librarian Marian Paroo (Barbara Cook on Broadway, Shirley Jones in the film) to Professor Harold Hill (portrayed by Robert Preston) toward the end of Act Two.  It became a hit for Anita Bryant in 1959 and was later covered by The Beatles in 1963.

History

The first recording of this song to be released came even before the original cast album version of January 1958. Promotional copies of the 45 rpm single, Capitol P3847, were released on November 26, 1957, even before the Broadway production had premiered on December 19. Produced by Nelson Riddle, it featured his orchestra and 17-year-old vocalist Sue Raney. An earlier version of this song, “Till I Met You”, was first recorded by Eileen Wilson in 1950 and later appeared on the January 14, 1951 edition of The Big Show, performed by Fran Warren.

The Beatles version

Included on their albums With the Beatles (UK release, 1963) and Meet the Beatles! (US release, 1964), the song was the only Broadway tune that the Beatles ever recorded.

Paul McCartney was introduced to Peggy Lee’s music by his older cousin, Bett Robbins, who would occasionally baby-sit the two McCartney brothers. McCartney said: “I had no idea until much later that it was from The Music Man.” “Till There Was You” was part of the Beatles’ repertoire in 1962 and performed at the Star Club in Hamburg. It became illustrative of the Beatles’ versatility, proving they could appeal to all sections of an audience, moving easily from ballads to rock and roll, as in their appearance on November 4, 1963 at the Royal Variety Performance when they followed this song with “Twist and Shout“.

The band had previously performed “Till There Was You” as part of their failed audition for Decca Records in London on January 1, 1962, and it was the second of five the group sang during their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964.

Live versions of the song were released on Live at the BBC (1994) and Anthology 1 (1995). The latter version was recorded when the Beatles played at the Royal Variety Performance; because the album was cut so that live numbers began with the actual song, John Lennon’s famous request that those in the royal box “rattle your jewelry” to “Twist and Shout” is in fact included on the “Till There Was You” track. When introducing this song (likewise placed on “She Loves You” for Anthology), McCartney commented that the song “had also been recorded by our favourite American group, Sophie Tucker“. This tongue-in-cheek comment by McCartney unwittingly began an urban legend that “Till There Was You” was an old Sophie Tucker song, when in fact, there is no record of her ever performing the tune.[…]

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 21 Aug 1963.
    UK: Parlophone PMC 1206 With the Beatles 1963.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46436 2 With the Beatles 1987.
  • [b] stereo 29 Oct 1963.
    UK: Parlophone PCS 3045 With the Beatles 1963.
  • [b1] stereo remixed from [b] 1963, by Capitol.
    US: Capitol ST 2047 Meet the Beatles 1964.
  • [b2] mono made from [b] 1963, by Capitol.
    US: Capitol T 2047 Meet the Beatles 1964.

Paul McCartney added “Till There was You” to the setlist of his 2005 US Tour, and a live performance appears on his DVD The Space Within US.

Last updated on February 8, 2016

Lyrics

There were bells on a hill
But I never heard them ringing
No, I never heard them at all
Till there was you

There were birds in the sky
But I never saw them winging
No, I never saw them at all
Till there was you

Then there was music and wonderful roses
They tell me in sweet fragrant meadows
Of dawn and dew

There was love all around
But I never heard it singing
No, I never heard it at all
Till there was you

Then there was music and wonderful roses
They tell me in sweet fragrant meadows
Of dawn and dew

There was love all around
But I never heard it singing
No, I never heard it at all
Till there was you
Till there was you

Officially appears on


With the Beatles (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1963

2:14 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Bongos
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Acoustic lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Jul 18, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Jul 30, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Aug 21, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road


With the Beatles (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1963

2:14 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Bongos
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Acoustic lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Jul 18, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Jul 30, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 29, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road


Meet the Beatles! (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:16 • Studio versionB2 • Mono made from [B] by Capitol

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Bongos
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Acoustic lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Jul 18, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Jul 30, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Oct 29, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road


Meet the Beatles! (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:16 • Studio versionB1 • Stereo remixed from [B] by Capitol

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Bongos
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Acoustic lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Jul 18, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Jul 30, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Oct 29, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road


Live At The BBC

Official live • Released in 1994

2:13 • Radio showL1 • A song from the musical ‘The Music Man’, popularised by Peggy Lee. Australian born broadcaster Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman presented two From Us To You specials and his quirky sense of fun clicked with the Beatles. While Paul picks out a few heroes, John attempts to draw Fluff’s attention to his book ‘In His Own Write’ published a week earlier.

Concert From "From Us To You" in London, United Kingdom on Mar 30, 1964


Anthology 1

Official album • Released in 1995

2:54 • LiveL2

Concert From "Royal Command Performance" in London, United Kingdom on Nov 04, 1963


Bootleg Recordings 1963

Official album • Released in 2013

2:17 • LiveL3

Concert From "Saturday Club" in London, United Kingdom on Dec 21, 1963


Bootleg Recordings 1963

Official album • Released in 2013

2:14 • LiveL4

Concert From "Pop Go The Beatles" in London, United Kingdom on Jun 11, 1963


Bootleg Recordings 1963

Official album • Released in 2013

2:12 • LiveL5

Concert From "From Us To You" in London, United Kingdom on Dec 26, 1963


On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2

Official live • Released in 2013

2:16 • Radio showL6 • Paul was inspired to sing this highlight from The Music Man by Peggy Lee’s UK Top Thirty hit from April 1961. Meredith Willson’s Broadway show had a long run on stage from 1957 and was then adapted for a movie version released in 1962. Having been part of the group’s stage act for two years, "Till There Was You" was released on With The Beatles in November 1963. A later recording made for the radio show From Us To You was included on the first volume of Live At The BBC.

Paul McCartney:
Vocals
Terry Henebery:
Producer

Concert From "Pop Go The Beatles" in London, United Kingdom on Jul 30, 1963

Bootlegs


Star Club - Hamburg, Germany - December 1962

Unofficial live

2:43 • Live


Live In Iowa 2005

Unofficial live

3:23 • Live

Concert From the concert in Des Moines, USA on Oct 27, 2005


The BBC Archives Volume 3

Unofficial album

2:13 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 4

Unofficial album

2:14 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 5

Unofficial album

2:16 • Radio show


Live performances

“Till There Was You” has been played in 77 concerts.

Latest concerts where “Till There Was You” has been played


Los Angeles • Staples Center

Nov 30, 2005 • Part of The US Tour


Los Angeles • Staples Center

Nov 29, 2005 • Part of The US Tour




Phoenix • Glendale Arena

Nov 23, 2005 • Part of The US Tour



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